Charalambos 'Babis' Anagnostopoulos has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his British wife Caroline Crouch at their home in Glyka Nera, Athens, after initially claiming she died in a robbery.
The helicopter pilot attempted to mislead police for weeks by claiming his wife was killed by intruders in a brutal house invasion.
An Athens court found Babis Anagnostopoulos, 34, guilty of the murder of Caroline Crouch, 20, on 11 May 2021 as the couple’s baby slept in the house.
He was also convicted of strangling the couple’s dog to lend credence to the narrative that the family fell victim to ruthless burglars demanding to be handed hidden valuables.
The court sentenced Anagnostopoulos to an additional 10 years in prison for killing the dog.
Reports say that although Anagnostopoulos was sentenced to a total of 27 and a half years for killing his wife and their dog he will serve 18-and-a-half years with the court taking into account time already spent in prison and the fact he worked while there.
He will serve his sentence in the maximum security Korydallos Prison just outside Athens.
What happened to Caroline Crouch?
Ms Crouch, 20, who grew up in Greece, was found dead in the property’s attic. She had been suffocated on a bed next to her baby daughter, but the infant was not harmed.
Anagnostopoulos, 34, had alleged that three men had broken into the house, tying him up and killing his wife before making off with €15,000 in cash in addition to valuables.
He also said they had killed the family dog.
He told Greek television: "I cannot describe it. I cannot describe it.
"I hope this will not happen to anyone else.
"Police are doing their job and they will catch them. I hope what my family and the family of my wife has been through will not happen to anyone again."
However, Greek media reported that police were unable to find any trace of the gang that allegedly carried out the crime.
Who are Caroline Crouch’s parents?
The parents of Ms Crouch, David and Susan, now care for her young daughter.
Mr Crouch vowed to make sure his daughter’s murderer did not have any contact with the youngster.
The Mail Online reported that Ms Crouch’s father, David, said: “No amount of prison time can ever bring back my beautiful daughter but I am just gratified that the court didn’t believe the scurrilous nonsense that he produced during his testimony.”
“When he eventually completes his sentence, which many people think he might not survive, he will be a changed man, a broken man, far older than his true age.
“I will ensure that he never gets to see his daughter or to have any contact with her whatsoever.”
Lawyer Thanassis Harmanis, who represented Ms Crouch’s family at the trial, described the verdict as “fair”.
“It was a historic trial, as Caroline has now become a symbol in the struggle against violence targeting women,” Harmanis said.
“The defendant was not allowed to continue the deception that he maintained for 37 days (before his arrest) … and during this trial.”
How was Anagnostopoulos caught?
The incident shocked the nation and prompted authorities to announce a 300,000 euro (£254,000) reward for information about the crime.
Police said analysis of data from a smartwatch worn by Ms Crouch had helped reveal inconsistencies in the pilot’s account of events.
It showed her pulse readings from the day and revealed her ehart was still beating at the time her husband said she was murdered.
His own movements were tracked through his mobile phone and showed he had been moving around the house rather than tied up by robbers as he had claimed.
Anagnostopoulos was arrested more than a month after Ms Crouch’s death after attending a memorial service for her near her family home on the Aegean Sea island of Alonissos.
He was seen hugging the victim’s mother before being led away.
After abandoning the house invasion scenario, Anagnostopoulos claimed that Ms Crouch died following an altercation between the couple over the infant’s care.
Prosecutors maintained he acted in a calm state of mind and intentionally suffocated her while she was asleep.